Tuesday, 26 February 2013

Bitch Boxer - review

Written by: Anna Jones (@Now4567Anna)

Soho Theatre, London

Charlotte Josephine has crafted, and is now delivering, a genuinely excellent piece of theatre, which incorporates all the rhythms and pace of a boxing match into an hour and a half monologue. Her words jab and fall back, daze you, knock you down only to lift you back up again with a funny observation. It is the touching story of Chloe, an amateur boxer looking for Olympic glory whilst coming to terms with a family tragedy.

It is an extremely refreshing piece with feminist leanings; Josephine explores the way in which the female body can be used both in sport and on stage to subvert and defy expectations. She points out in the preface that the play was inspired by an unkind comment from a customer of hers, who implied that she did not look “ladylike” whilst carrying some heavy boxes. This comment led her to examine why women are still sometimes pigeon-holed into physical stereotypes, and she expertly channelled her frustration into Bitch Boxer, a piece which also picks up on the controversy surrounding women boxers being allowed to compete in the Olympics for the first time.

Bryony Shanahan’s direction ensures that the monologue remains engaging throughout; the incorporation of dance, boxing and simple props (a chair and gym bag) support the narrative. The sound design and original music, provided by Daniel Foxsmith, and the lighting, provided by Seth Rook Williams, complement the piece perfectly, resulting in a scintillating production.

If this excellent piece of theatre is anything to go by, Charlotte Josephine’s company, Snuff Box Theatre, is a company to watch over in the next few years.

This production runs until 9th March 2013.
@sohotheatre @SnuffBoxTheatre

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1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Excellent play and performance but it's around 50 minutes not the hour and a half mentioned